There are luxury shops, and then there are exclusive shopping experiences that go beyond everyday expectations, bringing together the ultimate in retail lifestyle and tailor-made service
From the extravagant House of Bijan on the world-famous Rodeo Drive to Alfred Dunhill’s ultra-stylish Bourdon House in London, here are 5 of the most exclusive fashion shops in the world.
1. House of Bijan, Beverly Hills
A discreet sign saying “By Appointment” marks the entrance to the House of Bijan, on Beverly Hills’ upmarket Rodeo Drive. Here, a leafy Mediterranean-style courtyard leads kings and presidents into the most expensive store in the world.
The ritzy menswear boutique is housed in a stately 12 million dollar palazzo lavishly decorated with stunning marble floors, a spectacular perfume bottles chandelier, as well as a mesmerizing collection of rare art works and antiques. Inside this opulent and exclusive world, influential men such as Barack Obama, Tom Cruise or Oscar de la Renta himself come to pick up their $1, 200 dollar neckties and one-of-a-kind accessories
2. Bourdon House, London
London is bursting with international flagship stores and classy designer boutiques, but few can compare with Alfred Dunhill’s Bourdon House in Mayfair.
Ideally located in a gorgeous Georgian mansion that was once the residence of the Duke of Westminster, the stylish London flagship property of the luxury menswear brand exudes Britishness and gentlemen’s sophistication from the moment you walk in the elaborately furnished sitting room. Refined leather goods and legendary Dunhill items adorn the house, adding a special charm to the building’s grandeur and rich heritage. Even so, Bourdon House is not your usual shop, is a unique shopping experience designed especially for the modern gentleman who understands the importance of craftsmanship and good quality.
In addition to the retail floor, Bourdon House boasts a custom tailoring shop, a marble-clad Spa with services for both men and women, a very masculine old-fashioned barbershop, an intimate 12-seater Screening Room with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment (also available for private hire), as well as a stylish Cellar Bar with lovely outdoor terrace.
3. Oscar de la Renta, New York
Although surpassed by the opulent House of Bijan, Oscar de la Renta on Madison Avenue remains New York’s most expensive fashion store.
Designed by Meyer Davis Studio and fitted out with refined de la Renta furniture and coral stone walls brought here from the designer’s home country (Dominican Republic), the nearly 4,000-square-foot boutique greets its well-heeled customers with a magnificent catwalk-like shoe display, luxuriously-appointed VIP dressing areas, an outstanding jewelry exhibition and, of course, the latest ready-to-wear collections. The store’s recent - and pretty spectacular - expansion has also made room for a larger selection of purses, home goods and fancy childrenswear.
4. Louis Vuitton, Paris
Both a unique shopping experience as well as a true architectural marvel, the Louis Vuitton shop at 101 Champs Elysees is a not to be missed destination, an almost spiritual place where all Louis Vuitton aficionados want to go, eventually.
Envisioned by award-winning American architect Eric Carlson, the striking interior design is a perfect fit for a fashion emporium of such caliber. But “La Maison”, how those in the know call it, is not just a treasure trove of exquisite LV bags, jewelry and ready-to-wear lines; it is part museum, part showcase of some of the world’s best designers’ creativity. A pitch-black elevator ride takes you to the top floor where lies the Espace Vuitton - a contemporary art gallery with temporary exhibitions by talented up and coming artists, a library and jaw-dropping views of Paris.
5. Loewe, Barcelona
Although part of luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), Loewe remains quintessentially Spanish. In fact, what was once the Official Supplier to the Spanish Royal Crown has now become a national treasure, and most certainly the country’s most prestigious fashion house.
Praised worldwide for its exclusive leather goods handcrafted to perfection, the brand has opened its largest flagship store in Barcelona. And because the vibrant and cosmopolitan Catalan capital is brimming with architectural gems, the shop sits - where else - in a gorgeous Modernista building designed by Art Nouveau master Lluís Domènech i Montaner, on the elegant Passeig de Gracia.
With a superb interior design by famous Peter Marino, the shop is much more than just a luxurious showroom, it is Loewe’s first retail space devoted to bespoke tailoring.